Heat Notes: Riley, Whiteside, Dragic, Haslem

Heat president Pat Riley spoke about the state of the Heat recently, and Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald passes along some of the more relevant take-aways from Riley’s comments.

Despite Justice Winslow‘s success running the point while Goran Dragic was injured last season, Riley expects Dragic to be the team’s starting point guard for the 2019/20 season. Riley also expects both Dion Waiters and James Johnson to come back strong from injuries and play a significant role.

Regarding first-round pick Tyler Herro, Riley said that the 19-year-old guard “has proven in his short time at Kentucky that he’s not only a great shooter, but he’s a competitor, he’s tough, and he can defend. We’re very excited to have him.”

Riley declined to comment on the 32nd overall pick KZ Okpala, as his rights are still owned by the Pacers. He likewise declined to speak about Bol Bol, as his rights are being traded to the Nuggets.

There’s more out of Miami this afternoon from Ira Winderman of the Sun-Sentinel:

  • Cap-strapped after both Hassan Whiteside  and Dragic opted into their player options for the 2019/20 season, the Heat are in somewhat of a holding pattern until they are able to clear those two off their books in the summer of 2020. For now, Pat Riley seems keen on encouraging Heat fans to root their young team on towards a playoff berth next season (link).
  • The Heat are likely to carry 14 players on their roster during the 2019/20 season in order to avoid the luxury tax, but will Udonis Haslem be that 14th-man (link)? It’s a possibility, and Haslem has said that his family with play a primary role in his retirement decision.
  • The conundrum the Heat face with Whiteside next season is that while he may have the chance to stay healthy and rediscover his game, how does that help Miami if they’re not a championship contender (link)? Whiteside’s contract ends after the 2019/20 season, and if the Heat are serious about developing their young core, Whiteside doesn’t really have a place on the roster past this season, so letting him stuff the stat sheet on a mediocre team for one season really does the Heat no good.
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7 thoughts on “Heat Notes: Riley, Whiteside, Dragic, Haslem

  1. Dragic could land in Indiana if they want to free up space. Depends on what Miami feels is an equilibrium on his value since they have to eat to break even on him.

    • DVail1979

      Why would Indiana trade for Dragic when it’s widely known that they’re going to do everything they can to sign Rubio … maybe if Rubio were to sign elsewhere Dragic would be an option but most experts from what I’ve read believe Rubio will be the PG in Indiana

  2. stretch123

    I really like the two players we picked up in the draft, particularly Okpala… he’s very raw and seems to have a high ceiling as a combo forward with room to grow offensively and defensively and if I’m a betting man, seems like he could be the steal of the draft… as for Herro, I think he will be a nice rotation player capable of scoring 15-20 points per game in his prime. The key for us this year though is steps forward for Bam and Winslow. Richardson seems to be what he is, an above average 3 and D player but I don’t see him as a go to scorer and I don’t think Heat management does either. I hope Spo is smart and starts Winslow at PG and have Dragic come off the bench as the sixth man. For the benefit of the team’s future (and not making the playoffs as an 8th seed). This should solely be a developmental year.

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